- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Letters with powder postmarked in Dallas

MONTGOMERY | Letters containing white powder that were sent to seven governors had Dallas postmarks, the FBI said Tuesday.

Government operations were disrupted Monday when workers in Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and Rhode Island opened the letters and discovered white powder.

Tests showed the powder wasn’t dangerous.

FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said the Dallas FBI office is investigating and warned other states to be on the lookout for similar letters.

The FBI declined to say whether the letters were addressed specifically to each governor or written to a generic “governor’s office” address.


Korean grandmother ID’d as crash victim

SAN DIEGO | One of the victims of a fighter jet crash in San Diego had recently arrived from South Korea to help care for her daughter’s newborn, a minister said.

The Rev. Kevin Lee of the Korean United Methodist Church said Tuesday that the victims were Young Mi-yoon, who was in her mid-30s; her 2-month-old daughter, Rachel; and her mother, Suk Im-kim.

Mr. Lee said the grandmother was helping to care for the infant. Cadaver dogs were searching Tuesday for the body of another daughter, identified as 15-month-old Grace Yoon.

Both engines on the jet failed while it tried to land at a nearby Marine base Monday. The pilot ejected before the crash.


Bank to extend loans to end sit-in

CHICAGO | The creditor of a Chicago plant where laid-off employees are conducting a sit-in to demand severance pay said Tuesday that it would extend limited loans to the factory so it could resolve the dispute, but the workers declared their protest unfinished.

The Republic Windows and Doors factory closed last week after Bank of America canceled its financing. About 200 laid-off workers responded by staging a sit-in at the plant, vowing to stay until they are given assurances they would receive severance and accrued vacation pay.

Their action garnered national attention and was seen by some as a symbol of defiance for workers laid off nationwide.

A resolution appeared closer when the bank announced that it had sent a letter to Republic offering to “provide a limited amount of additional loans” to resolve the employee claims.

The bank appeared to side at least in part with disgruntled workers, expressing concern in a statement Tuesday “about Republic’s failure to pay their employees the employee claims to which they are legally entitled.”

Bank of America has been criticized for cutting off the plant’s credit after taking federal bailout money.

Workers, who received just three days’ notice before the plant shut down Friday, argue that the company violated federal law because employees were not given 60 days’ notice that they were losing their jobs.

The company did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.


Simpson cohorts get probation

LAS VEGAS | Four former O.J. Simpson co-defendants who took plea deals and testified against the former football star were sentenced Tuesday to probation for their roles in the gunpoint robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers.

Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass lectured the men but accepted a state recommendation that they serve no prison time. Instead, she imposed terms of probation ranging from three to eight years on Michael McClinton, Walter Alexander, Charles Ehrlich and Charles Cashmore.

McClinton, Alexander, Ehrlich and Cashmore each pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified about their involvement in Simpson’s September 2007 confrontation with memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong and fellow collectibles dealer Alfred Beardsley at a Las Vegas hotel-casino. Each could have received prison time.

The men originally faced charges similar to those against Simpson and Clarence Stewart, the only co-defendant who stood trial.

Simpson, convicted in October, was sentenced Friday to nine to 33 years in prison on 10 counts, including kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy. He was transferred to a Nevada state prison Monday. Stewart was sentenced to 7 1/2 to 27 years.


Three officers face felonies in abuse case

NEW YORK | Three police officers surrendered and were charged with felonies Tuesday for an attack on a tattoo parlor worker who authorities say was sodomized with a baton in a subway station.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced an indictment charging Officer Richard Kern with aggravated sexual abuse and assault. Two fellow officers, Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales, were charged with hindering prosecution and official misconduct for covering up the crime.

DNA recovered from the baton “was matched to the victim,” prosecutor Charles Guria said during a court appearance at which the officers pleaded not guilty.


Teen charged in foiled school attack

NORRISTOWN | A 15-year-old boy stole his father’s guns as part of a suicidal plan to attack enemies at a suburban Philadelphia high school, authorities said.

Montgomery County prosecutor Risa Vetri Ferman said the boy was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and was being held in a mental health center.

Miss Ferman said the freshman gave the three guns to a friend to take to Pottstown High School. The friend instead threw the weapons into a river.

The father reported the guns missing, and police investigated.


Women convicted of smuggling monkey

SPOKANE | A woman who hid a sedated monkey under her blouse on a flight from Thailand to Los Angeles - pretending she was pregnant - has been convicted of smuggling.

Gypsy Lawson, 29, successfully passed through U.S. Customs in Los Angeles with the rhesus monkey hidden in her shirt after the November 2007 trip.

Her mother, Fran Ogren, 55, of Northport, Wash., accompanied her on the flight from Bangkok and also was convicted.

A jury found the two women guilty Monday on separate charges of conspiracy and smuggling goods into the U.S. Sentencing is set for March 3.

The monkey is now at a primate rescue facility in Oregon.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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